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NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has granted anticipatory bail to a history-sheeter in a case concerning the submission of forged and fabricated documents by him for issuance of a passport, directing that he join the investigation whenever required.

Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar said that since the case was based on documents which are already in the custody of the investigating agency, including the passport in question, custody of the petitioner-accused, Tejinder Pal Singh, was not required.

Nothing was placed on record to show that the petitioner indulged in illegal activities while he was abroad and that he had any connection with any terrorist organization, the court said.

“The prosecution has failed to place on record any illegal activity on the part of the petitioner which could be detrimental to the security of the State and the fact remains that the petitioner has not travelled abroad after 2013 as per the prosecution,” the court said.

“It is evident that the petitioner has already handed over his original passports issued in the year 2005 as well as issued in the year 2015 in compliance of the letter dated 25 July, 2019 issued by the passport office Jaipur, so it cannot be said that the custody of the petitioner is required for the purposes of recovery of these passports,” it added.

“The application is allowed and it is ordered that in the event of arrest, the petitioner be released on anticipatory bail on his furnishing a personal bond in the sum of Rs 50,000 with two sureties each of the like amount to the satisfaction of the IO/SHO concerned,” ruled the court in its order dated September 3.

A police complaint was made against the petitioner in Rajasthan, demanding an enquiry as to how a history-sheeter got a passport and then renewed it.

In the police enquiry, it was found that he had a criminal background since 1983 and was declared history-sheeter in 1992, on account of which it was not possible for him to get any passport there.

It was alleged that the petitioner “concealed these facts and applied for a passport in 2005 at Passport Office, Bhikaji Cama Place, Delhi” while showing himself as a permanent resident at an address belonging to a relative here.

With the passport application form, the report stated, the petitioner produced a forged/edited voter card of Delhi and a fake school transfer certificate. After expiry of the passport issued in 2005, he got another passport in 2015, it was claimed.

After the enquiry concluded, the complaint was sent to Delhi Police for registration of FIR under Section 420/468/471 (cheating and forgery) IPC against the petitioner for “furnishing false information, suppressing information regarding criminal case(s) registered against him and furnishing fake/forged tempered documents.”

The prosecution opposed the grant of pre-arrest bail to the petitioner on the ground that his custodial interrogation was required to recover the original passport, unearth the motive and the conspiracy as also to recover forged document. The petitioner claimed that the complaint was filed after 14 years and was motivated.